Question for the techies out there


Just like thousands of you, I’m extremely hype for Classic WoW release but I’m currently stuck in a dilemma.

My current laptop is already extremely old and I have been planning on buying the 2019 Macbook Pro for professional use. Preferably the 13 inch with the i7 processor and 16gb of ram.

The graphics on the 13 inch is the Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 vs the Radeon Pro 555x Graphics with 4GB of video Memory on the 15 inch. (the 15 inch if I get it will also have the i7 and 16gb of ram.)

I really love the 13 inch form factor and I will be docking it regardless with a 27 inch monitor & gaming peripherals when I’m playing classic.

Classic shouldn’t be too demanding graphics wise but do you guys think I will be able to run it comfortably with the 13 inch? I’m also aware that I can run windows on bootcamp and that might be better optimized for classic.

Should I go for the 15 if I will be playing hours on end for the first few weeks? Also will heat be an issue with either? Maybe getting an i5 would cause less heat?

Note : I know there are much cheaper gaming laptops out there that can run it without a problem but for my job I highly prefer the Macbook.

Would extremely appreciate some feedback from some tech savvy gamers.


Specs aside, i would much prefer it on something bigger than 13. 13 is pretty dang small, id feel i was playing original warcraft on my first crt. I play on a 15.6” laptop and wouldn’t personally want anything smaller.

(Starbûck) #3

The i7 with a 4gb card and 16gb of ram will be more than ample as well as future proofing other activities, I would go with that, you also mentioned you will dock the laptop to a bigger screen, I would definitely go for the more powerful card out of the two.

(Elbardo) #4

I agree with Itchyangus, 13 inches screen is small.
Personally I think 15 is still small.

(Aryxymaraki) #5

The OP said they’re planning to plug it into a 27 inch monitor for actual Classic playing.

The difference between the two is hardware specs, not effective screen size.

OP, I wouldn’t expect you to have significant problems with the 13 inch, though I also wouldn’t expect you to be able to run it at max settings. Obviously, the 15 would get you higher settings. Heat is always an issue with laptops, especially when running demanding programs, but I don’t know exactly how the cooling systems work on either of those options.


Here are the min specs for Classic WoW


OPERATING SYSTEM Windows® 7 64-bit (with latest Service Packs)
PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6600 or AMD Phenom™ X3 8750
VIDEO NVIDIA® GeForce® 8800 GT 512 MB or AMD Radeon™ HD 4850 512 MB or Intel® HD Graphics 4000
MEMORY 2 GB RAM (4 GB for integrated graphics such as Intel HD Graphics series)
STORAGE 5 GB available space
INTERNET Broadband internet connection
INPUT Keyboard and mouse required. Other input devices are not supported.
RESOLUTION 1024 x 768 minimum display resolution

Benchmarks comparing your video card vs the minimum requirement have yours at about an 80% performance increase. You’re good on the GPU.

I’ll need more info on your processor beyond just “i7” to give you a definitive answer on it.

16GB of RAM is more than enough.

(Ziryus) #7

If you plan on gaming at all get the one with the graphics card.


Toonz, may I ask what you do?

The 2019 Macbook is already looking bad for repairability. Possibly something else can work for you.

On the tech side, however, I would go with the 15 with the Radeon Pro over the Intel Iris.

I use a Dell XPS 9570 15" for work. It will run Classic well but I will still play on my gaming PC when I can.


Just saw you were planning on getting a MacBook vice a PC.

OPERATING SYSTEM MacOS® 10.12 (latest version)
PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ i5, 2.0 GHz or better
VIDEO Metal capable GPU with 1 GB VRAM
MEMORY 2 GB RAM (4GB for integrated graphics such as Intel HD Graphics series)
INTERNET Broadband internet connection
INPUT Keyboard and mouse required. Other input devices are not supported.
RESOLUTION 1024 x 768 minimum display resolution

Not going to lie, I know next to nothing about Mac’s, so I have no idea what a Metal Capable GPU is.

(Fallanaa) #10

Meh. Skip the overpriced Mac hardware.

If you really must run OS X, buy a laptop with an Intel processor that has more capability for a lower price point (or better performance for a similar price point) and turn it into a Hackintosh.

(Oldallagala) #11

If you run on low settings you can literally run this game on some refrigerators computers. Now if you’re asking if you can run on max settings, in a raid, with no fps drops that’s different

(Chroesire) #12

I think either will be able to handle Classic pretty well with settings sitting somewhere between mid and high. Ultra might be out of reach for high frame rates. Naturally, the model with Radeon graphics is going to perform measurably better.

For a bit of reference, I have a 2012 Mac mini hooked up to my TV (I mainly use it for retro emulators), and it ran the Classic stress test with “classic settings” at 1080p averaging between 45-55 FPS. Keep in mind that this machine is thoroughly outdated now – it has a 2.3Ghz Ivy Bridge quad core with Intel HD 4000 graphics.

So practically anything newer is going to be able to run Classic well, especially with how more powerful CPUs have become since 2012 – remember that WoW is CPU-bound, NOT GPU bound.

As an owner of a custom built Hackintosh tower (it’s my main machine), I strongly advise against hackintoshing a laptop. When buying laptops you have little or no control over the hardware, which will make the hackintoshing process more painful than is worth bothering with and will likely mean making sacrifices like relying on a USB thumb for your wifi. Hackintoshing only makes sense if you’re building your own tower or happen to have a tower/laptop that is highly compatible with macOS.

If you want a laptop that runs macOS, the only pragmatic choice is a MacBook of some kind.


The most important part of a computer when it comes to MMO’s is the CPU. This is going to be doing the heavy lifting in 40man raids. I think you will be doing just fine with those specs. Just wanted to put in my 2 copper.


either will be able to run it, but the 15 inch will definitely out perform the 13 inch because of the nvidia graphics card vs the intel card. wow is more CPU heavy than anything else, but the nvidia card will allow you to push the settings up higher.

I have played WOW on many macbooks over the years, even macbook airs. wow’s vast swathe of graphical options and its optimization let you run it on almost anything. just set the settings to high/medium and lower them as needed for performance. bgs and raids will be your biggest FPS hits, but if you plan to mostly play casually, a macbook will git er done.

as others have said, a dedicated desktop will completely outperform any macbook though. even a mac “all in one” monitor desktop. if you have the money to splurge on a current gen macbook, maybe get the 13 inch for work and spend the rest on a modest desktop set up? wow doesnt take much and a dedicated desktop will really be leaps and bounds above even a current gen macbook.

lastly the #1 thing to be aware of when gaming on a macbook is how HOT they can get, so get a stand for it on your desk and if you plan to ever play with it on your lap, get one of those lap desks, preferably one with a raised platform and/or a fan it in, otherwise you will be burning your thighs.

(Chroesire) #15

Based on the reviews I’ve watched/read, this newest generation improves the heat situation significantly. Apparently Intel was supposed to hit die shrink/heat reduction goalposts sooner than they did, which led to a mismatch in the cooling abilities of MacBooks and heat production of Intel CPUs. With the 9th gen CPUs the two finally line up better.


You don’t have to worry too much about heat, because the entire laptop is an aluminum heat sink. Which means dissipating the heat will be no problem especially for a lightweight game like WoW.

Those specs would probably handle retail WoW very well even if the graphics are set to 75% to 85% and you should get relatively smooth frame rates.

As someone who personally prefers smaller laptops like a 13”, I would definitely go with the 13 inch.

Because remember that if you go with 15 inches instead, you’ll have to tone down your resolution settings if you prefer the sharpness of max resolution LCDs like I do. The 15 inch model is higher resolution so the extra boost in hardware performance won’t help that much.


have you guys ever actually gamed on a macbook? sure, the aluminum body is a heat sink and it works at keeping the components less hot, but since the body is the actual heat sink, the body gets VERY HOT. I have gamed, and very specifically played wow, on almost every generation of macbook over the last decade, and they all get hot on your lap if you play for a few hours no matter what. i am sure the latest generation is slightly better/marketed as not being SO hot, but it is going to get hot and the best solution is to prepare accordingly: get a raised stand for the laptop on a desk, and a lap desk for use in your lap and/or wear very thick pants.

DO NOT play wow on a macbook in shorts. DO NOT.

(Chroesire) #18

Oh yeah I agree with that for sure. Before I had my hackintosh tower I my daily driver (that I played WoW on too) was a nearly-maxed-out 2015 15” MBP. It does indeed get too toasty for extended lap usage, was just pointing out that the newest gen at least starts to improve on that.


Yes, I actually own a 2017 MacBook Pro. The heat is not an issue at all, so long as the fan vents can breathe.

This laptop generates lots of heat at max load, but this has been my experience with any laptop with an intel/AMD chip inside.

If you want to get comfortable and play on your bed, then you will have to buy some kind of ventilation pad for your laptop to sit on. There’s no way around this reality unless you buy some giant, clunky laptop that just barely passes as a non-desktop computer.

(Chroesire) #20

I think those huge late-2000s Alienware-style brick things are finally disappearing, thankfully. There’s still “gaming” laptops, but their thickness is a lot closer to what you’d expect from a normal laptop. The Razer Blade laptops are essentially just pre-Retina MacBooks in terms of body shape for instance.